In a game that featured just about everything - including 192 minutes in penalties - the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds picked up a crucial 6-2 victory over the St. FX X-Men tonight at the AUC. The win moves UNB to 12-3-2 on the season and into a 2nd place tie with St. FX.
In what has seemed to be a common theme thus far this season UNB did the majority of their scoring in a single period. Tonight is was the opening period as the V-Reds stormed out to 4-0 lead after the opening twenty minutes of play. UNB received goals from Chris Caissy (on the power play from Gazzola, Wall) at 3:58, Tyler Carroll (Anderson) at 8:16, Stephen Anderson (Murray, Petgrave) at 11:21, and Caissy again, this time unassisted after fording a turnover in front of the X-Men goal at 16:07. Shots in the period were 9-6 for UNB.
UNB extended the lead to 5-0 at 2:05 of the 2nd period when Rob Mignardi (Suellentrop, Beauvillier), parked at the side of the net, redirected a slap-pass from the point into a wide open side of the net. It was shortly after this when the game really started to get out of hand. Newly recruited X-Man Max Iafrate, son of former NHLer Al, was assessed a minor penalty at 2:30 of the period but on his way to the penalty box he decided to jump Matt Boudens - who was under the skin of St. FX all game - from behind and started throwing punches. When it was all said and done Iafrate received 29 minutes in penalties, including a 5 minute major for fighting and a game misconduct, and gave UNB a rare 7 minute power play. The V-Reds couldn't muster much on the extended man advantage and had the remaining 51 seconds wiped out by a penalty of their own. The X-Men finally got on the board at 14:26 when Michael Clarke one-timed a cross ice pass past Etienne Marcoux to make it a 5-1 game. There was another skirmish at 14:57 that seen Boudens pick up his 2nd 10-minute misconduct of the game, which automatically leads to a game misconduct. Just 75 seconds later, while shorthanded, UNB restored their five goal lead. Dylan Willick made a nice play at the blue line to chip the puck past an X-Men player and went in on a 2-on-1 with Philippe Halley. Willick skated down the right side and cut back into the slot before finding Halley at the left side of the net. Halley made a nice forehand to backhand deke to flip the puck past Drew Owsley to make it a 6-1 game. That score would hold up until the end of the period as UNB out-shot St. FX 11-9.
Just over 4 minutes into the 3rd period Francis Beauvillier knocked down Eric Locke on a breakaway giving Locke, the leading scorer in the AUS, a penalty shot. Marcoux was up to the challenge however, kicking out Locke's attempt to keep it 6-1. Shortly after this the game continued to get more and more out of hand as there were misconducts handed out at 4:40, 5:51, and 16:34. After Alex Wall was given an unsportsmanlike penalty at 5:31 Colin Suellentrop received a five minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head just 20 seconds later. The X-Men scored on the ensuing 5-on-3 to cut the lead to 6-2, which is how the game would end. Shots in the period favoured UNB 10-8.
- Shots in the game were 30-23 for UNB.
- Marcus McIvor and Philippe Maillet remained out of the line-up due to injury while Tyler Carroll and Mike Thomas replaced Peter Trainor and Cameron Brace (one game suspension due to his game misconduct last night).
- It is expected that both Colin Suellentrop, due to his 5 minute major and game misconduct, and Matt Boudens, due to his two 10-minute misconducts and subsequent game misconduct, will be suspended for Friday's game against Dalhousie. This will leave UNB with only four defenceman.
- Etienne Marcoux improved to 9-2-0 on the season, making 21 saves in the win.
- UNB accounted for 21 infractions and 101 penalty minutes while St. FX accumulated 91 penalty minutes on 20 infractions. There were 13 misconducts handed out in total.
- By the end of the game both teams only had about 8 or 9 players on the bench.
- UNB was 1 for 9 on the power play while the X-Men were 1 for 10.
- Attendance was 2321.
- The V-Reds had a rare off-night in the face-off circle, only winning 28 out of 64 draws. Dylan Willick fared the best with 12 wins and 8 losses.
- Caissy, Anderson, and Marcoux were the three stars of the game.
- UNB has now won 14 straight home games over the X-Men. This includes 10 regular season and 4 playoff contests.
- Prior to the game captain Cam Critchlow was honoured with the second annual Rod Pike Award which is given to a Varsity Reds hockey player who has demonstrated both an exceptional athletic ability and academic performance.
- In other action in the AUS Acadia kept rolling with another strong offensive effort in an 8-2 drubbing of Moncton in Wolfville, Saint Mary's picked up a dominant 7-0 home win over St. Thomas, and UPEI picked up a 2-1 overtime win against Dalhousie in Charlottetown.
- With each team having played 17 games the standings now look like this: Acadia (29 points), UNB (26), St. FX (26), Saint Mary's (20), UPEI (20), Moncton (16), Dalhousie (11), St. Thomas (3).
- UNB are on the road next weekend to face the same two teams they played this weekend so it will be interesting to see if any of the hostility carries over. They face Dalhousie on Friday night and St. FX on Saturday night. Both games are scheduled for 7PM and can be seen at www.AUStv.ca